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Golden Gate golf course project hits rough patch at Collier commission

Patrick Riley
Naples Daily News

A proposed golf course and entertainment venue, part of an effort by Collier County to redevelop a county-owned golf course in Golden Gate, has hit a rough patch.

Commissioners last year bought the 167-acre golf course at the intersection of Collier Boulevard and Golden Gate Parkway for $29 million. Plans for the site include workforce housing and golf. A future veterans' nursing home has also been discussed as a possibility. 

But commissioners on Tuesday put off a scheduled discussion about the property after a vendor who agreed to build a golf course and entertainment venue there asked the county to contribute $7 million toward the project.

More:Plans for workforce housing on Golden Gate golf course property move forward

More:Proposal to bring high-tech driving range, 12-hole golf course to Golden Gate moves forward

Commission Chairman Burt Saunders, whose district includes Golden Gate, asked to delay the item to the commission's Oct. 27 meeting. 

He said toward the end of Tuesday's meeting that negotiations with ClubCorp haven't been "quite as smooth" as those county staff had with a company that plans to bring a distribution center to Collier.

Wendy Jervis, a Par One resident, chips balls onto the practice green, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, at the golf course at the Golden Gate Country Club near the intersection of Collier Boulevard and Golden Gate Parkway.

Commissioners picked Dallas-based ClubCorp earlier this year to build and operate an entertainment venue, including a high-tech driving range and 12-hole golf course, on part of the Golden Gate Country Club site.

ClubCorp sent the county a letter this month asking for Collier to chip in $7 million, a "significant change," county staff wrote in a report to commissioners, from the company's original proposal to redevelop the course and build a venue "at no cost or additional investment" by the county.

More:Collier to buy Golden Gate golf course for $29.1 million

More:Collier leaders sign off on loan to buy 167-acre Golden Gate golf course

"ClubCorp came back and asked the county to put $7 million into the golf course," Saunders said. "That's a non-starter obviously. And staff is going back to talk to them to see if there is some way to resolve or save that project."

In its Oct. 7 letter, the company said that it has conducted "significant due diligence to evaluate the current conditions as well as the needed improvements required to redesign and reopen the course." 

"During our review we discovered the existing irrigation systems will need to be completely replaced and the scope of work required to redesign the course is significant," company officials wrote.

To accomplish the project, the company said it requests that the county contribute $7 million.

Connect with the reporter at patrick.riley@naplesnews.com or on Twitter @PatJRiley.